Arizona Martial Arts Blog

Filming for New Martial Arts Video

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

January 31st, 2015, Filming began for a new martial arts training video at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate. This video focuses on the use of a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon known as bo - a six-foot long staff that is commonly used by SE Asians for transporting goods across their shoulders. The bo is a very effective weapon developed by Okinawan farmers for self-defense along with karate. 

The Video filmed in Mesa, Arizona will include several forms known as kata as well as their applications for self-defense. When completed the video will be for sale at:

Chander, Gilbert & Mesa Samurai Defend Karate School

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Students at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (aka Arizona Hombu) took up the blade (samurai sword) and trained on pumpkins as an annual event for Halloween and Thanksgiving. The group all had the opportunity to practice cuts with the samurai sword using many donated pumpkins. 

Arizona Martial Artists Awarded

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Phoenix, AZ, July 2nd, 2013: A group of traditional Shorin-Ryu martial artists from Arizona and Wyoming traveled to the Juko Kai National clinic in New Braunfels, Texas June 15th to train in an incredible art known as Combat Ki – a martial art of extreme body hardening that allows JKI martial artists to accept full-force strikes to vital parts of the body with little effect. The art, created by Dai-Soke Sacharnoski in 1960, is so advanced it has been featured on several programs in recent years including Stan Lee’s Superhumans, Sports Science, Discovery Channel and others.

While at the clinic, the group also trained in an Okinawan martial art known as Okinawan Kempo and Tode taught by Dai Soke Sacharnoski). At the close of the clinic, martial artists from around North America including those from Arizona and Wyoming tested for Menkyo Okuden (entrance to secrets), a combat martial art rank essentially equivalent to 1st dan black belt. Those from Gillette Wyoming who successfully passed the exam included Kyle Gewecke (4th dan), Chase Cassidy (1st dan), Brandon Brown (3rd kyu) and Nick Jarvis (4th kyu). The Arizona Martial Artists included Neal Adam (6th dan), Victoria Davis (1st dan), and Ryan Nemec (4th kyu).

Awards were also presented to two outstanding martial artists from Arizona. Ryan Nemec was awarded “Outstanding male martial arts student of the year”, an award presented by the JKI Hombu for students who have shown exceptional dedication in the martial arts.

Soke Hausel was awarded the title of ‘Meijin Wa Jutsu’ for lifelong contributions to martial arts as an instructor. Only a few martial artists have been presented this title which translates as “master of masters” or “martial arts genius”. In 2012, Soke Hausel of Mesa-Gilbert, Arizona was also awarded rank of junidan (12th dan) and became one of a handful of to be awarded this rank since the 18th century. Grandmaster Hausel began training in martial arts 49 years ago and taught at four major universities prior to opening the Arizona Hombu (world headquarters) in Mesa in 2006.


Posted on May 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Kobudo, the ancient Okinawan martial art of farming and fishing tools for self-defense has been so effective, that many law enforcement agencies around the globe adopted many of these tools for their line of work. One notable tool was the tonfa, a side handle baton that replaced the common ‘Billy club’ for a few decades until the expandable baton was introduced. But even the expandable baton, known as a kibo and referred to as ASP, has a Japanese martial arts association. For instance, the hanbo, a 3-foot baton, is used in many styles of traditional jujutsu and ninjutsu and is even used in some styles of Shorin-Ryu Karate. Other similar tools include nitanbo and kobuton.

Other kobudo tools, or weapons, include an unusual fork-like weapon known as sai. The sai is a classical kobudo martial art weapon and one of the hardest to learn. Even so, members of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa tested for certification with this weapon. To certify, the group was required to demonstrate four separate advanced kata (forms), bunkai (self-defense applications) and ippon kumite (sparing). Six martial artists from the martial arts school successfully passed exams and were awarded certification in this complicated weapon. The six included Adam Bialek, Sensei Bill Borea, Amanda Nemec, Ryan Nemec, Alexis Pillow and Sempai Patrick Scofield.

Utah martial artists train in Mesa, Arizona

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The Arizona Hombu in Mesa, welcomed several yudansha (black belt rank) and sempai (senior brown belts) from the Utah Shorin-Kai located in Murray, Utah to train in advanced martial arts techniques and hanbo on May 3rd and May 4th. The group arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor from Salt Lake International airport on Friday morning and checked into their motel in Chandler near the Arizona martial arts training center on the border of Gilbert and Mesa near Baseline and MacDonald. On Friday evening, the group led by Kyoshi Rob Watson, 8th dan, arrived at the martial arts facility and exchanged hugs, handshakes and greetings with members of the Arizona School of Traditional Karate and Soke Hausel, grandmaster of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu.

Following greetings, the martial artists bowed in, warmed up, and began training with hanbo. The hanbo is a 3-foot bo (stick) often seen in the hands of ninja or jujutsuka training in the arts of ninjutsu, ninpo, and jujutsu. Soke Hausel was introduced to this unusual, but very practical art by Dai-Soke Sacharnoski and trained in Togakure-Ryu earning certifications through Hatsumi Masaaki, Soke. Weapons similar to the hanbo include tonfa, nitanbo and kioga. The kioga, also referred to as kibo, is a common tool of law enforcement that is referred to as ASP or expandable baton. The difference between the use of the hanbo and kioga is that the hanbo is always the same length, but many techniques are the same. The difference between training between law enforcement officials and martial artists is that law enforcement training is limited in the use of this tool. Martial artists never end training with the tool and use it to activate pressure points and train to use it with blocks, strikes, restraints and throws. Following two hours of training with the hanbo, the group retired until the next morning.

On Saturday morning, training began in advanced empty hand (karate) techniques. These included blocks, strikes, chokes, throws and restraints. The group trained for five hours before the clinic ended. At the end of the clinic, Kyoshi Rob Watson, 8th dan and Renshi Todd Stoneking, 6th dan, presented gifts to Soke Hausel. Members of Arizona and Utah said their goodbyes and it was the consensus that time went by too fast. Soke Hausel will travel to Utah in the fall for the Utah gassuku (adverse training) at the East Canyon resort near Park City.

Professional photographs at the Hombu clinic were provided by NemecPhotos. We are very thankful and appreciated by the excellent quality of the photography at this year’s clinic.

Arizona Martial Artists Train in Kobudo

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Mesa, AZ, June 4, 2012: Martial artists from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix & Tempe completed a year of training with Okinawa tonfa at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa. The Okinawa tonfa is thought to have originated as a farming implement likely from the wooden frame or handle of a millstone. It has been referred to as the ‘millstone handle’ for decades. The Arizona students trained in the tonfa every Thursday evening for a year before they were able to certify.

Many law enforcement agencies use (or have used) a baton modeled after the tonfa, but law enforcement only trains with one baton unlike martial artists & officers only receive cursory training, unlike Shorin-Ryu martial artists who train with it constantly. It is known as the side-handle baton in law enforcement, or PR-24.

After a year of training, a group of martial artists from the Phoenix valley were certified in Okinawa Tonfa by Grandmaster Soke Hausel, 10th dan. But as Soke Hausel stated, "This is only the beginning of your training in tonfa & kobudo in general. We have gone through the process of certifying in Okinawa tonfa; and after a year, this means we are now capable of learning more and we should all plan to continue training & learning about the tonfa for the rest of our lives". In the past few years, some students at the school have also in tonfa (), kuwa, and katana ().

To demonstrate their expertise, members had to perform basic blocks and strikes known as kihon (基本). They further had to test in three kata () (forms) and demonstrate understanding of the forms in a group of self-defense applications known as bunkai (分解). Such forms were created by Okinawan body guards & peasants centuries ago as living encyclopedias of self-defense applications.

Finally, the group tested using tonfa in kumite (組手) (sparring) against other martial artists armed with Okinawa bo () or kon (6-foot long staff or pole). During kumite, students (内弟子) (deshi) do not wear protective equipment other than safety glasses. The group showed expertise in the weapon and five were certified. Those receiving certifications in Okinawa Tonfa included Adam Bialek, Patrick Scofield, Sarah Kamenicky, William Borea and Ryan Harden. We congratulate them for a job well done!

Members of the Kobudo Class will continue training with tonfa. In the upcoming months, they will focus on one tonfa (as well as two tonfa) and use the weapon against attackers with clubs, knives and learn a variety of restraints and jujutsu throws with the weapon. In addition, the group started to focus on the Okinawa sai (). They will also learn the Okinawa Eku and Japanese naginata (薙刀) in the near future and continue training in the hanbo (半棒), katana and naginata on Wednesday evenings.

Classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate are set up so that students learn Shorin-Ryu Karate on Tuesday evenings, Samurai arts and self-defense on Wednesday evenings, and Kobudo arts on Thursday evenings.


Martial Arts Experts Travel to Arizona for Training

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


April 12th, a group of senior martial artists from Murray, Utah traveled from Salt Lake City to Phoenix Sky Harbor airport to train at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate and Seiyo Kai martial arts facility in Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona. The group from Utah included Kyoshi Watson, 8th degree black belt and Renshi Stoneking, 6th degree black belt of the Utah Shorin-Kai.


The group trained in advanced Okinawan Karate Kata (forms) that included many devastating self-defense applications against a variety of attacks. The group also trained with hanbo (law enforcement night stick, or 3-foot club) along with restraints and also in traditional Okinawan kenjutsu (samurai sword). The three day clinic was taught by Soke Hausel, 10th degree black belt and Hall of Fame martial artist from Arizona.


Soke Hausel recently trained librarians from Chandler, Arizona and faculty, staff and students from the University of Wyoming in self-defense.


Posted on April 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

BREAKING NEWS!  Or should we say, ROCK BREAKING NEWS in ARIZONA. Each spring, as it is traditional in Okinawa, Our students learn the art of tameshiwara (breaking rocks) along with a little geology!

When Soke Hausel started training in martial arts, most in the US were of the impression this was the primary function of karate and jujutsu -breaking things. In reality, it is a very, very minor part of karate and practiced to assist in development of self-confidence. Many US schools use rebreakable boards, but being that we are a traditional Okinawan martial arts school and Soke Hausel is also a geologist, there are plenty rocks willing to assist us. So, Soke heads out to the field to pick up a bag of rocks. This year, many came from the Salt River flood plain in Phoenix, while others came from the Gleeson Mining District east of Tombstone. The bag contains rocks of all different sizes.

So, for the past 40 years, Soke Hausel has taught this art to a few thousand students and all (exept one) have been able to break rocks after proper instruction.


Top-Rated Karate Classes in Phoenix

Posted on March 17, 2011 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0) rated the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa and Seiyo Kai International Hombu as having the #1 and #2 Top-Rated Karate Classes in Phoenix. How does one receive such a favorable rating? The answer lies in quality of instruction & appearance of the school.

Students attending the Arizona School of Traditional Karate and the Seiyo Kai Hombu in Mesa are treated to traditional Okinawan décor in the Mesa martial arts center. As one walks into the dojo, the school is similar to what one would see in some training halls in Okinawa. The school also focuses on adults and families rather than kids’ karate. Thus adults learn to defend against one another instead of training along side of 5 year old children. In this way, adults can learn basics of karate and much more complex advanced techniques (>150 black belts have trained under Soke along with hundreds of other students). Kids are not neglected, but to participate in the Kids’ Karate Class, children must attend family classes with their parents and later be invited to attend the Kids’ Karate class. Parents who have their kids in this class are impressed by the training – the children are actually taught karate and kobudo rather than games, and they are also required to learn respect and Japanese. Unlike many other schools in the valley where adults may be taught by teenagers, nearly all of the classes at the dojo are taught by the Soke. Many self-defense classes and clinics are taught to martial arts students and to the general public by Soke.

Soke is a term meaning world head, president or grandmaster; thus Soke is the highest ranked martial artist in the world in Shorin-Ryu Karate (Seiyo-Kai). He has 8 different black belt ranks and is a certified 10th degree (judan) black belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. As a result, the students (deshi) get access to Soke’s 46 years of experience in martial arts. Furthermore, Soke has certifications in nearly 2 dozen martial arts – so one will not get bored while training at his schools because there is lifetime of martial arts experience to draw from. The overachiever has been inducted into 15 Halls of Fame for his accomplishments and is a member of dozens of Who’s Who.

Soke is also unique in that he was awarded the title of kyoju (Professor of Martial Arts) due to 40 years of teaching at four Division 1 universities. He was also awarded the 2001 International Instructor of the Year, the 2004 Instructor of the Year and the 2000, 2002-2005 Soke of the Year by several major international martial arts associations. He was awarded the President’s Award in 1992, the 1994 Distinguished Speaker and 1998 Distinguished Lecturer awards. In 2006 he was awarded an Honorary PhD in the Philosophy of Japanese Martial Arts Sciences.